Freedom Folks

Monday, September 04, 2006

Yet Another Downside

Source: Chicago Tribune

The Trib has a story today detailing the horrific working conditions of many illegal immigrants toiling in this country. If you think I'm gleeful over this story, you really don't understand where I'm coming from.

Americans fought long and hard, and I do mean fought, for decent working conditions. Let's not forget that good men and women died so you could earn a decent wage for your day's work. One of the many downsides of illegal immigration is the slippage of safety standards in all jobs, especially those employing illegal aliens, and of course that slippage ultimately carries over to citizens as well...
Much of the furor over immigration reform has been about whether undocumented workers like Mario should be allowed to stay in the U.S. or made to leave. But beyond that debate lies an undeniable fact: They face disproportionate dangers on the job.

For most Americans, the workplace is a much safer place than a decade ago. This is not the case for many Latinos, who remain trapped in an earlier, more brutal era of industrialization. They lead throwaway lives and their plight is nearly invisible because so many live in the shadows.

Over the last decade Latino workers' fatality rates have soared, outstripping their share of the workforce. With more Latinos on the job, many suffer a hefty dose of injuries from some of the most dangerous jobs, according to government statistics and interviews with union, workplace safety and public health experts, as well as workers.

They are vulnerable because many are immigrants who are illiterate in English, have little understanding of American culture and are grateful for any job, no matter how dangerous. And because many are undocumented immigrants, afraid of being deported, they often don't ask questions and don't challenge the boss.

"They shouldn't be dying and they don't even have the same rights to complain. Being illegal, they fear retaliation. This is assuming that they know that what they are doing is dangerous," said Jordan Barab, a workplace safety advocate in Washington, D.C., and a former union health and safety expert.
Now, the Trib's purpose in printing this story is too make you feel sorry for these folks, hell, I feel sorry for these folks. But let's talk a little turkey here, any time an individual enters a country illegally they are operating at a disadvantage and are more likely to be hurt or killed on the job. This sucks, but it's the real deal.

The Trib's solution would be to make illegal aliens defacto citizens and give them the same rights as citizens enjoy. Which is a form of madness, unfortunately it's a form of madness that seems to be proliferating amongst the chattering classes these days.

See, here's the deal, every single step we take down this road, this road of granting privileges and rights to those who aren't supposed to be here gnaws away at our sovereignty and the value of citizenship. The correct solution is not to treat illegal aliens as pretend citizens, it's to remove illegal aliens from our workforce root and branch.

Now I hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from you indentured slave lovers. Read this article and understand a basic home truth, illegal aliens in the workforce = more deaths and injuries. There's no getting around this minor detail.

Ethical people don't hire illegals*, hence, we're not dealing with the cream of the ethical crop in the first place here. Nope, we're dealing with those who have already displayed a predilection for breaking the law and the social construct. Why in god's name would you assume they would care whether or not their slave labor force was treated well and with decent working conditions?

Answer, they don't! And they won't until forced to do so.

One of the annoying things about being involved in this debate: it's conducted as if we have no historical models to consult, no past from which we might learn. But there is history, there is past, and history is always a bitch.

One of the known consequences of our last failed experiment with mass immigration was an erosion of wages and workplace safety. Gee, sound familiar?

Any guesses how we solved that problem? Hmmm, perhaps by closing the mass immigration spigot?

Illegal immigration and mass immigration have essentially similar results time after time, why are we so resistant to learning those lessons?

The only way to protect the workforce, is if the workforce is comprised entirely of citizens, or those here legally who can seek recourse if abused. You don't solve it by pretending the illegal aliens are citizens, why? Because they actually aren't citizens and don't know what their rights are, and so are ripe for abuses by unethical employers.

Remember, if an individual will hire an illegal, I think it's a fair presumption that they will abuse an illegal. This is just one in a litany of downsides of illegal immigration. Let's start caring about employees again, all employees, it's one of the things that truly set this nation apart.

*though I will acknowledge that when the illegal population hits a certain density in a given area business owners may feel forced to hire illegals to remain competitive. But let's be frank, it's the unethical sunza-bitches that create that situation in the first place.

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